We made it thru Tropical Storm, Faye. Got lots of well needed rain and here comes Gustov. Looks like we dodged another bullet, though. It’s going to our neighbors to our west. According to The Weather Channel, Gustov is going to hit somewhere along the Louisanna coast or Texas coast. The center of the cone is just west of New Orleans. The Northeast quadrant of a hurricane is the worst place to be. And unfortunately for New Orleans, they might end up there. Thankfully, they are taking this seriously and doing a great job of evacuating everyone.
I wish I had a dollar for everyone that has asked me that question. (In 5 or so years from now, we will know). it is a fair question, though. Here are my thoughts…I think we are close to the bottom, in my area. Remember that real estate is localized. The area where I live is a resort destination. It’s not a “city” like New York, Atlanta, Houston or Los Angeles. I lived in Atlanta for 12 years and invested in houses. (I am very familiar with their market and I think they have a longer time frame before they hit bottom). Prices are back to 2002/2003 prices. Buyers are coming back and looking. Investors are buying again. There are a lot of cash transactions (sorry to all my lender friends out there). All great indications. Buyers who couldn’t afford to buy a couple of years ago, are now able to afford a condo or home. Even though lending has tightened, interest rates are still low.
Before any market can turn to a seller’s market again, the inventory must go down and prices must stabilize. We are starting to see more and more short sales and foreclosures. Sellers have tried to hold on. They can’t refinance their property as they owe too much and it won’t appraise, the 3-year adjustable mortgages have adjusted and will continue, so sellers just quit making payments.
In my opinion, my area, will be a buyer’s market for at least another year. Since this area is a resort town, many buyers want to own a condo on the beach, a 2nd home or even retire here. We have the most beautiful beaches in the USA! (The photo in the header of my blog is our beach!!! White sand with emerald green water). Baby boomers are selling their homes in the North/mid-west and buying here. Unbeknownst to many, we have 4 seasons…winter is VERY short…just the way I love it!
In upcoming blogs, I will have video of different areas around town. If you’ve never been here before you are truly going to be amazed at our little piece of paradise! We are the #2 drive-to vacation destination, behind Orlando. With gas prices skyrocketing and the new Panama City International Airport opening in (hopefully) 2010, we could just reach #1.
For more information about real estate along the Emerald Coast visit my website.